Panther Buzzer Beater Stuns Bulldogs at Home

Delta senior James Ruple was able to secure a loose ball under the basket and connect on a five-foot jump shot as time expired to lift the Panthers to a shocking 35-34 victory over the Swanton Bulldogs at Swanton’s Kevin J. McQuade gymnasium last Friday night.  The Panthers, who had trailed by as many as nine points in the second half, had whittled the deficit down to one point and were frantically working the ball for a chance to take the lead with the clock winding down.

With 5.8 seconds remaining in the game, Justin Ruple fired up a shot from beyond the arc that would eventually fall well short of the rim and bounce on the edge of the baseline, headed out of bounds.  Bryce Gillen, Delta’s leading scorer on the season who was held to no points on the night, leaped over the baseline and threw the ball back under the basket where it pin-balled off several legs and hands until it was finally grabbed by James Ruple.  Ruple went straight up, released the ball and watched as it hit the back rim before falling through the hoop as the buzzer sounded, setting off a wild court-storming celebration of the Panther faithful.

The Delta win, combined with Patrick Henry’s loss to Wauseon, created a log jam at the top of the NWOAL with four teams, including Archbold, tied at 3-1.  The Panthers also claimed the best overall record on the season so far with 14 wins and just two losses.  Next Friday, Delta will play host to the Wauseon Indians in hopes of breaking that tie and remaining in contention for the league title.  Swanton drops to 1-3 in the league and 12-5 overall and will travel to Archbold with an opportunity to play spoiler in the race for the top spot.

Delta: 10-5-7-13 = 35 James Ruple (14), Justin Ruple (9), Bryar Knapp (7), Nolan Risner (5)

Swanton: 8-12-8-6 = 34 Cole Mitchey (10), Luc Borojevich (9), Hayden Callicotte (8), Charlie Wood (4), Kayden Davis (3)

Click on the link above to access photos from the game. Photos are in the jpeg format to allow for editing and can be downloaded for NO CHARGE courtesy of the website.

Photo: James Ruple scores over Swanton’s Charlie Wood

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